Election day glitches in other Ohio counties are forcing the Columbiana County elections board to spend an additional $10,000 it does not have. Elections board Director Adam Booth reported at this week’s meeting Ohio Secretary of State of State Jon Husted issued a directive requiring those boards with optical-scan voting systems to install new memory cards used to store voting results. Booth said 100 memory card will have to replaced at a cost of $100 each, for a total cost of $10,000. The problem is with the internal lithium batteries used to power the memory cards.
“In no way would this have been anticipated. It’s not an optional thing … We have to buy these new batteries and we’ll just have to let the commissioners know about the expense,” he said. To address the loss of $600,000 in state funding for the county, commissioners adopted a 2012 budget that reduced appropriations by about 5 percent from 2011 levels. The elections board, which spent $575,000 last year, was only given $546,000 in 2012. Booth said the additional $10,000 will most assuredly lead to a budget shortfall in their budget.